Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, cover millions of Medicare beneficiaries across the country. Many people who are new to Medicare may not realize that only 80 percent of their Part B expenses are covered. That leaves 20 percent to be covered out of pocket. With a Medicare supplement plan, that 20 percent is covered.

While 20 percent may not seem like too big of a copay, but consider this: As we get older, we become more susceptible to serious illnesses and injuries. That 20% can quickly become an unmanageable pile of bills. With Medicare supplemental insurance, seniors can have peace of mind by eliminating the responsibility of copays.

What Are Medicare Supplement Plans?

Medicare supplement insurance was created just after Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Though Medicare does cover the bulk of medical costs for those enrolled, you are required to pay for some things. Medigap covers those costs on your behalf, allowing you to visit your doctor whenever you need without worrying about the price of doing so.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans have many advantages. You can choose your own healthcare provider and you don’t need a referral to see a specialist. In fact, you can use your coverage throughout the country so if you go on vacation or to visit family, you can still go to the doctor if needed. 

With a Medigap plan, your insurance company is not allowed to drop you or change your coverage because of a medical condition. In addition, you do not have to file any claims paperwork. When your healthcare provider files a Medicare claim, it’s automatically filed with your Medigap policy as well! 

It’s important to note that, though your Medicare supplement plan will cover the copay, deductibles and other expenses associated with a doctor’s visit, it will NOT cover your Part D drug costs. You will need a Medicare Part D plan for that. Routine, dental, vision or hearing services are also NOT covered by your Medigap plan since Medicare itself doesn’t cover these costs.

If you’re considering a Medigap plan, you should also know that you must have Medicare Part A and Part B beforehand. Your policy will only cover you and not your spouse or any dependents. However, many carriers offer discounts if more than one person in the household buys a policy. There’s no set time during which you have to elect to drop out of your supplemental insurance policy. You can do so at any time. 

What Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans Are Available?

There are 10 different standardized Medigap plans available for you. These are listed as Plans A through N (with some letters skipped). No plan covers 100% of the costs you may incur, though Plan F does cover your complete costs except for foreign travel emergencies. However, you will pay higher premiums for this plan.  As such, it’s important to evaluate every plan and find the one that works best for your situation. 

Understanding the different coverages in each plan can be complicated, but these resource pages can provide more information about each:

While you can buy a Medigap policy from many different medicare supplement providers in Georgia, each company must offer the same standardized coverage under each plan. Most people choose plan F, G or N since they offer the most coverage. However, you may not need all the coverage provided by these policies. Instead, you may choose a plan with less coverage in exchange for lower premiums.

The best way to choose the right Medigap policy is to work with our team at MMIG so we can evaluate your needs and help you pick the perfect plan for your unique situation.

Enrolling in Medigap Coverage

Technically, you can enroll in Medigap plan at any time. However, your best option is to do so during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period begins the first day of the month in which you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. This is a one-time open enrollment period to sign up for a Medigap plan.  

During this period, the insurance company you are buying a policy from may not ask you any questions regarding your medical conditions, and they cannot turn you down or charge you more for pre-existing illnesses or other health issues.  It is a Guaranteed Issue period.

If you do not take advantage of this open enrollment period, you can still purchase Medigap coverage later on. However, insurance companies will be allowed to deny your policy based on pre-existing conditions. As such, your best option is to enroll during your one-time Medigap Open Enrollment Period. Note that this open enrollment period is NOT the same as the Annual Election Period, which is for your Medicare Part D plan.

You also have the right, called your Medicare supplement guaranteed issue rights, to buy certain Medigap plans (A, B, C, F, K, and L) with no questions asked within 63 days of losing group health coverage, such as if you retire and no longer have insurance through your employer. There are other guaranteed periods as well, such as if you lose Medicare Advantage coverage because you moved out of state. 

How Much Does Medicare Supplemental Insurance Cost in Georgia?

This is an important question, but it’s not one we can answer without meeting you first. The cost of different plans depends on your age, sex, ZIP code, and other factors. It also depends on the company from which you purchase a policy.

Your best bet is to give us a call at (678) 807-8414 or contact us online during your specific open enrollment period to discuss all of your Medigap options. Our experts will review all of the important details that can affect your coverage costs, and help you choose the right plan for you. If you missed your open enrollment period or want to switch plans, we can help with that, too. Let us help you Protect What’s Ahead!

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